I will admit, it takes a pretty awesome event to get me out of the house on a weeknight. But once in a while, something comes along that looks promising enough to coax me from hibernation and make me throw caution to the wind as I push my exhausted-adult bedtime back. Ben Kunder and Oh Susanna, friends, are two such motivators, and they happen to be coming right to our very own Heartwood Concert Hall on Tuesday, June 19th.
Kunder boasts warm, rich vocals and catchy beats. He falls somewhere between country and rock, drawing influences from Jason Isbell, Alvvays, and Bahamas, but his sound is unique and inviting, not to mention something you can’t help but tap your feet to. He’s currently on tour to promote the upcoming June 29th release of his second album, Better Human.
I had the privilege of sitting back and listening to the album from start to finish and I was caught right from the first strumming beats of the title track. In light of recent events (more specifically, the outcome of our provincial election… must refrain from inserting crass expletives…), this song hit me hard.
Kunder’s straightforward lyrics “I’m working harder every day/ to be a better human in this world” speak of a promise that I wish were echoed by everyone. The sentiments are carried through much of the album, heard in songs like I Will Be Your Arms: “Sister, brother, I will be your arms/ We’ll lift each other ‘till we stand in the eye of the storm.” Kunder’s words seek to unite us and are coupled with gentle harmonies and tight layers of instrumental accompaniment, creating a sound that calls everyone home.
His most recent single off Better Human is called Fight For Time, which features some pretty sweet harmonies and reinforces the theme of finding balance in life that is a conceit on the album.
Joining Ben Kunder on June 19th will be Oh Susanna, playing sweet and salty songs that conjure up all sorts of nostalgia. With a slew of albums under her belt – her latest one, A Girl in Teen City, just released last year – Oh Susanna rocks guitar, piano, and vocals with enviable confidence. Her songs on the new album range from tunes that make you get up and dance to mellow, poetic pieces pulling at heartstrings. Each one is a story, woven in a honeyed voice as she takes you on her journey through picturesque moments. She keeps listeners hanging off her every word.
With the amazing musical talent that Ben Kunder and Oh Susanna possess, along with the tales that they so effortlessly spin, their show on the 19th is sure to be filled with magic. Have a listen to the gorgeous Night Sky by Kunder and Oh Susanna’s Tickets on the Weekend to whet your appetite, then get on down to Heartwood Home or Ticketfly to grab your own tickets!
It might not be a weekend show, but it’ll be worth staying out past curfew – I mean bedtime. I’ll see you there!
Written by Sarah Goldman
Feature image by Music Nerd Chronicles